Yes, Laura Ingraham, Trump loyalists, and everybody else are living on separate planets

You have to hand it to Laura Ingraham. When she’s right, she’s right. 

Ingraham, a longtime conservative commentator who has firmly attached herself to the pro-Trump cause, on Monday offered her perspective on the indictments of former Donald Trump campaign advisor Paul Manafort and Manafort’s business partner Rick Gates, as well as the surprise guilty plea from a Trump campaign foreign policy advisor. 

“And the idea that this is a bad day for Trump because it in any way alludes to a collusion with Russia, you’ve got to be living on another planet if you think that,” Ingraham said on her radio show.

No disagreement here. 

Conservative commentators did their best on Monday to spin the news. The messages were relatively consistent: Nothing to see here, a “nothingburger,” as Ingraham put it.

Trump’s desperate tweets would indicate otherwise. 

The fun thing about Ingraham’s “another planet” statement is she then immediately speaks to why the Manafort indictment is a big deal—it could be used to pressure Manafort and Gates to reveal crucial information about Trump. 

It also conveniently ignores the revelation that former foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous, a volunteer but one who attended at least one meeting with Trump and was in contact with high-level campaign officials, had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. 

The big deal is that he has been actively cooperating with the investigation, a revelation that has sent some on the left into speculation that he may have gone to impressive lengths to aid the investigation. 

Not that you’d know this from conservative talking heads that have taken up the Trump cause. Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, who has emerged as one of the most ardent pro-Trumpers in U.S. media, downplayed the day’s news and quickly pivoted to the newest distraction around a seven-year-old story about Hillary Clinton and the sale of a uranium mining company. 

Hannity, it would seem, is occupying that same planet as Ingraham:

It’s easy to chalk this up to just another day in the conservative media bubble (the left has their own version, too), but Ingraham and Hannity are the loudest voices of a group that is in danger of becoming entirely unhinged from a shared reality. Ingraham, as I said, was right about being on another planet. Monday’s news provided one of the most significant tests of just how bad things have gotten under the Trump administration. 

It could be worse. Hannity and Ingraham at least felt compelled to spin the news rather than ignore it entirely. The Manafort story was just too big to pretend it didn’t happen, proving maybe there is still a bit of shared reality. 

But they just about ignored Papadopoulos. Hannity referred to him as a “kid” (at the ender age of 29) and claimed he had no real role in the Trump campaign. On Planet Trump, it’s just another meaningless piece of a witch hunt. 

This is set to get worse before it gets better. As David Roberts of Vox.com put it, Monday was a test of just how far people like Ingraham and Hannity were willing to go to cater their Trump-loving audience. 

The answer: Pretty damn far.

Hannity and Ingraham are just the most notable personalities in the sizable Trump media complex that tried to assure its audience that everything is just fine. But what really matters at the end of the day is not what personalities say on Fox News, but the extent to which their view holds sway with Capitol Hill Republicans, who all but disappeared from the airwaves on Monday. 

As long as the alternative reality exists, it’s less likely Republican members of Congress will challenge the president, depending how the rest of the investigation unfolds. Monday was also an opportunity for Republicans to take a stand, and none did. 

Looks like they’re living on that other planet, too.